Two definitive spurts proved the difference as LaSalle defeated Saint Joseph’s 90-83 on Monday afternoon at Tom Gola Arena.
Offensive efficiency: LaSalle 117, Saint Joseph’s 108
Observations of note:
LaSalle trailed 31-21 with just under ten minutes remaining in the first half. The Explorers went on a 27-11 run over those final minutes to take a 48-42 lead into the break. The first four minutes following intermission, the Explorers went on an 18-0 teal to open up a huge lead and basically put the game out of reach.
Junior forward Jared Kimbrough led the Explorers with 24 points. Kimbrough had entered the game averaging three points per outing and naturally, had a career day. He was especially dangerous in transition and attacking the basket as the Explorers capitalized on a number of Saint Joseph’s turnovers, especially early in the second half.
Coach Billy Lange’s Hawks could ill afford an injury this season and are trying to make do without their top threat Ryan Daly, sidelined since December. Taylor Funk scored 17 but played tentative at times with a wrist injury. The Hawks did get a notable performance from Jack Forrest. The 6-5 sophomore scored a game high 25 points. Forrest missed one shot on the afternoon, going 9 of 10 (4 for 5 from three) from the field and a perfect 3 for 3 from the charity stripe.
Saint Joseph’s is still trying to find the way. The Hawks are 1-10 and 0-5 in conference play. As noted turnovers, 18 total for a poor 23% TO rate, were instrumental. The Hawks did get 21 assists on 32 field goals for a 66% mark. That is a favorable note. Unfortunately when LaSalle made their run early in the second half, the visiting Hawks abandoned passing and spent too much time trying to create off the dribble. That option often led to run out turnovers created by the Explorer defense. For Lange and company, it’s all about competing and trying to improve each night out.
LaSalle is currently 6-8 and 3-4 in the Atlantic Ten. Coach Ashley Howard’s group came into the game on the heels of three straight losses after starting A10 play with a nice road win at Dayton followed up with a one sided victory at home against Fordham. Howard is making progress and the program shows signs of progress in his third year at the Philadelphia based school. The Explorers have been relying on shooting from long range attempting 39% of their shots beyond the arc. Against Saint Joseph’s they shot only 19% of their 63 attempts from deep going 5 of 12 . The three is a weapon but a little less reliance on it, as they showed yesterday, could go a long way.